Located in the heart of Dong Van’s ancient town, Pho Co Coffee House is a century-old house built by the Tay people in the early 20th century that has remained almost intact until today.
According to the website of the Dong Van Global Geopark Management Board, the house was built in the early 20th century and is one of the few remaining intact buildings in Dong Van’s old town. The original owner was a Tay landlord.
Like other ancient houses still standing in Dong Van, the house bears the imprint of traditional architecture that fuses with Chinese architecture. The low two-story structure has a foundation of green stone, clay, and wooden flooring on the upper level. The house has a courtyard in the middle, surrounded by rooms on both sides, similar to the Vương family’s architectural heritage. The characteristics of Chinese architecture are reflected in the layout, with the outer part being low and the inner part being high, and it is closed in a complete structure.
The walls are made of unbaked clay bricks. The wooden frame is adorned with carved columns and balustrades. The whole house is gray, bearing the marks of time.
The roof is covered with yin-yang tiles, a characteristic of the border region’s houses in the North.
Mr. Ngo Xuan Hieu, the current manager of the coffee house, said that the house has been used as a coffee house since around 2006. The spacious interior can accommodate hundreds of people, with seating areas either facing the courtyard or the street.
The wooden furniture is covered with traditional ethnic fabric. The rooms are lit with warm yellow lights and gentle music, creating a relaxed atmosphere for guests on their journey through the rocky plateau.
The second-floor balcony faces the center of the old town. From here, guests can enjoy their coffee while observing life on the main street of the ancient town, with rows of moss-covered roofs of century-old houses.
Pho Co Coffee House can serve up to 700 guests during peak days. The busiest time is usually on Fridays and Saturdays. The menu includes a variety of drinks, such as coffee, tea, and fruit juices.
In conclusion, Pho Co Coffee House is not only a great destination for coffee lovers but also a place where visitors can explore the cultural and architectural values of the Tay and Chinese people in Dong Van’s ancient town. A visit to this century-old house is a must-do for anyone traveling to Ha Giang. Keywords: Pho Co Coffee House, Ha Giang, ancient town, Tay people, Chinese architecture, century-old house.